Premarital And Post-Marital Agreements
Menlo Park Family Law Attorneys
Establishing a premarital agreement is a practical way to protect your personal assets before marriage. Typically, premarital agreements include a list of the property owned by each party entering into marriage; personal debts are often included in these agreements as well. The terms of the agreement define what each person’s property rights will be if the marriage ever dissolves, as well as how income, expenses, assets and debts will be handled during the marriage. Many couples don’t realize that the Family Code operates as a default premarital agreement in California; however, the laws in California are constantly changing, resulting in new requirements that they may be unaware of. Rather than relying on the default option, it’s important to work with skilled legal counsel that is at the forefront of changes to the law and can provide creative solutions when drafting prenuptial agreements that are suited to the client’s specific needs.
Why Draft a Premarital Agreement?
Premarital agreements become effective upon marriage and can include agreements on any of the following:
- The rights and obligations of each party in relation to property that is bought, sold, leased, transferred, used, exchanged, abandoned, or otherwise managed / controlled
- What will happen to property upon separation, divorce, death, or another event
- The creation of a will or trust (or other arrangement) to carry out the terms of the agreement
- Matters concerning personal rights and obligations, so long as they do not violate public policy or a statue imposing a criminal penalty
- Provisions for spousal support, including limitations or a complete waiver of spousal support
- How Community Property will be created either upon marriage (from separate assets brought into the marriage) or during marriage
- How income will be treated and expenses shared
It should also be noted that a premarital agreement cannot adversely affect a child’s right to support upon dissolution of the marriage.
Amending or Revoking a Premarital Agreement
Premarital agreements can be amended or revoked after marriage by written agreement signed by both parties provided that very specific fiduciary duties, including financial disclosures are complied with. At Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP, our Menlo Park divorce lawyers help clients create, enforce, amend, and revoke premarital agreements as needed.
We are committed to providing resolution-based legal service that empathetically addresses the needs of our clients. Backed by more than 50 years of practice and office locations in Menlo Park and San Ramon, we are equipped to handle family law cases of every nature, including those involving premarital agreements.
Establishing Strategic Post-Marital Agreements
For individuals who did not establish a premarital agreement before marrying, it is not too late to seek legal protection in the event of a divorce. Post-marital agreements are an effective way of protecting assets and other interests. This type of agreement can provide individuals with peace of mind regarding their rights and interests during marriage. At Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP, we assist individuals with creating post-marital agreements that are both effective and strategic, and provide guidance on compliance with fiduciary duties that exist after marriage.
Why Establish a Post-Marital Agreement?
Many couples avoid creating a post-marital agreement because they believe it sets up a marriage for failure. However, this realistic and proactive approach to marriage can help avoid potential conflict in the future. In the event a marriage ends in divorce, a post-marital agreement can allow both parties to go their separate ways and avoid lengthy and contested divorce disputes. It can also help both parties understand their roles, expectations, and contributions to the marriage. This understanding can lay the groundwork for a harmonious partnership. By law, post-marital agreements cannot be “promotive” of divorce.
A post-marital agreement can help couples settle the following kinds of issues:
- Income/expense sharing
- Asset division
- Debt division
- Spousal support
- Transmutation of separate property assets to community property, or vice versa
The Importance of Legal Representation During the Process
Having skilled legal representation when creating a post-marital agreement is recommended in order to ensure no detail is left unaddressed and legal obligations are complied with. One of our Menlo Park family lawyers can help draft the document and review any related issues or concerns.
The agreement must be clear and comprehensive to avoid misinterpretation or potential loopholes. At Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP, we help clients with post-marital agreements at our office locations in Menlo Park and San Ramon, CA.